how to add brood box to existing hive
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  1. #1
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    May 2017
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    lavonia, ga usa
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    Question how to add brood box to existing hive

    my new hive came with 3 medium boxes. i have had my bees for about 2 months and they are doing great. i want to add a deep brood box. how do i go about doing this.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    Are you using foundation or foundationless? The problem you probably are thinking is you can't take a frame and move it up into the box to draw the bees up, with a deep but all mediums below. If fountation, they will move up easy enough, but I have found that some hives won't utilize it to expand the brood nest. I have had one go to swarm mode because of this. They were starting to draw it out, but didn't move the nest upwards. I don't know for sure why about that. I eventually want the deeps on the bottom, one per hive. I should have just put them there, but didn't think they'd be too excited to draw it.

    Once you have a hive with drawn deeps, then you can take one from that hive to assist another in moving up. But until then, I have taken 2 medium frames from the two top mediums, one above the other, and inserted a deep that extended into the medium below. Works good except that they will add comb to the bottom bar below it. I was considering to add a 3/4" filler block to the bottom of the deep to fill the extra space and prevent it, but I didn't.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    Why do you want to add a deep? It doesn't seem worthwhile.

  5. #4

    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    Just put some medium frames of brood in the deep and put it in the middle. Have brood touching above and below. They will pull the deep frames over time and lay in them also.
    They will draw a 3 inch strip along the bottom of the mediums but that's no real hassle. Just keep manipulating frames till your deep is in use. You can always cut the strip they put on the bottom of the mediums off later.

    You can do all of that but I would stay with mediums all the way thru. That way you can use any frame any where you want.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    I am drawing out a few deeps on top of hives to get them drawn out and use them on the bottom of colonies. All mediums is handy, but I intend to have one deep on the bottom and the rest mediums to see if I like it. I want to consider deeps for possible nucs if I want to sell some deep nucs.

  7. #6
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    lavonia, ga usa
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    was not putting deep on top of mediums.my hive is all mediums.i was wanting to put deep on bottom

  8. #7
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    But what is your reason to add a deep? A lot of people have gone from deeps to all medium. Not many go the other way as far as I know. Some situations could make it worthwhile, like if where you live you'd only need one brood box. I used to have some ferals that did fine in one medium.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    jm, I don't seem to get frames drawn very good in the bottom box a lot of the time. I have been putting a deep on top of 2-3 mediums on some colonies, getting them to draw out the foundation and start laying. I will eventually move it to the bottom. I have been doing foundationless till this year, and don't think foundationless would work well without a drawn frame to lure them up. That's what I was thinking when suggesting putting a deep where it hangs through 2 mediums till it's drawn, then add the deep on top and pull the drawn frame up there, replacing the medium frames.

    I plan on 1 deep and 2 mediums, or however many the colony would want to use, for brood nest. I don't know how I will like it in the end, but fine to try. If I don't, I'll have a couple hundred deeps to make nucs for sale next spring.

  10. #9
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    lavonia, ga usa
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    From the hives I've seen deep brood on bottom. I thought I did wrong by starting with 3 mediums. Still going to add deep brood on bottom. What do I do, pull a couple of frames with brood and place in box to get bees to start using. Thank you all for your help. Still trying to learn.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    You can put a couple frames of brood down into the deep, but I still don't think they will go at it like it being on top. I have my biggest hive, which started with a deep on bottom, and it has 6 mediums on top of it already, with much of it filled, and a large brood nest. I took out some bad deep frames a month and a half ago or more and added deep foundation, acorn with heavy wax, and there are still a couple frames that aren't completely drawn, though there's brood in half the box at least. This foundation put on top of a couple larger hives got drawn out in less than 2 weeks without a major flow. You could always move a deep down when the timing is good after it's drawn. Once again, are you doing foundationless?

  12. #11
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    lavonia, ga usa
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    no i have frames with foundation.going to give them about 7 days. then i will check to see what things look like

  13. #12
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    Default Re: how to add brood box to existing hive

    Just keep track of room above for swarm prevention. Foundation should help them draw it, but again, I find they aren't all that excited about it in one of my hives. It will eventually get done.

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